Our President is an Angry Black Man

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I had a feeling last November that our country was going to go thru some birth pains in having the first African-American president. I have to be honest and say that I’ve been going thru them myself. I really wrestled with the presidential election for a number of reasons. First and foremost because I did not want to cause division within my evangelical, multicultural, and urban congregation, I kept my mouth shut. This was hard because I really wanted to use the presidential election to deal head on with the need for racial righteousness and reconciliation in our nation. But, every time I would just scratch the surface of the issue, you could cut the tension in the room with a knife. As the election day got closer I could sense the divide in our church between conservatives (in our church mostly Whites) and the more liberals (mostly young Whites and so-called people of color). It seemed like the conservatives became quieter and somewhat down in our church and after November 20th, the liberals got louder and excited for the dawn of a new day.

The second reason this past election was hard for me was because I was wrestling back and forth between being apart of  history and being from a political standpoint, a moderate conservative. Okay, I guess this is my political coming out party; I would compare my political beliefs to that of General Colin Powell. Finally, I said it! That felt so good! With this in mind, I had part of me that wanted to see Obama win and part of me that struggled because I’m pro-life, I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman, and I tend to be fiscally conservative. Voting day last year put the biggest rock in my stomach ever.

Even with all this in mind, when I hear some evangelicals and conservatives refer to President Obama as the Anti-Christ and a racist angry black man, I see how in denial about racism many in our nation are. The issue is, some conservatives really don’t mind the idea of a black president, they just want them to act White and never raise the issue of racism or question police or military authority. Conservatives then pimp some conservative African-Americans and Hispanics to drive this point home. I’ve been asked by some conservatives to play this role on many occasions. For the president to have attended a Black church which preaches a Black liberation theology and to question the actions of the police is out of bounds. Now to be a White president that attended an all-White church and be a part of all White social clubs, and live in an all-White community and have all that shape your views of what it means to be American is totally acceptable. I thought the President carried more authority in this country than a police officer from Cambridge? But it’s really beyond that. The problem is, you can be president or a professor at Harvard, if you don’t act American, which in many cases for some conservatives is acting White, then you are an angry black man. We have to deal with the fact the some conservatives have not separated being American from being White. Some are in denial about living in Whiteness. By the way, Blackness is no better solution.

Please hear that I’m not condemning all conservatives, I’m a moderate conservative myself. What I’m talking about is that when African-Americans question the actions of European-Americans in authority or when we raise the issue of race in our country, we are labeled as angry black people. It’s like some Whites are saying, “how dare you question my beliefs or my behavior! How dare you say I might have some racial issues I need to work out.” On conservative television this week our president has been called a racist, one who hates Whites and White culture, and one who is angry. This is code language for, “Negro President, get in your place.” I need my evangelical and conservative European-American brothers and sister to stay ideologically conservative but separate that from straight out racism masking itself with patriotism and family values.

By the way, word to the President: “Why you so angry?” 🙂  Word to the Christians, read Galatians 3.

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0 responses to “Our President is an Angry Black Man

  1. Pastor,
    I do not believe that President Obama is an angry black man. I had a problem wth him attending rev. wrights church becaue no matter what anyone says rev. wright is a racist and someone who preaches hate their is know disputing that. I’ve researched his church and it is a think tank of hate, and do you really think obama has been scruitnized more than other presidents???? I beg to differ I think it has been the opposite if you remember the campaign the media did not do their jobs, he was rarely challenged by them to answer tough questions, and this light heartedness with him has continued through his presidency he has had a cake walk compared to other Presidents. Look at what I call the state run media has done to Sara Palin. They crucified her for attending a pentacostal church critisized her family and even tried to start a conspiracy that her down syndrome child was really not hers, but her daughters. She has been a target of several false ethics investagations. Has president Obama been targeted at all about his questionable behavior with acorn or tony Rescoe or Bill Ayers of course not because the media and his opponents are afraid of being targeted as racist. I would argue he has gotten away with a lot more than other presidents because he is african american. Also the president works for us the people so in a sense a cambridge police officer and harvard professor carry more weight than him. He is a civil servant not a king. What he said at the press confernce was ridiculous after admitting he knew none of the facts, and him getting as scruitnized as he did had nothing to do with his race, any other president would have recieved just as much or more scruitinization for saying something that ridiculous, and to everyone else white or black do not fear the media or your peers if you have something negative to say about president obama they will try and make you feel like a racist and they will scruitnize you, but hold fast in your beliefs and convictions. Thanks Andy Keller

  2. Andrew,

    There is plenty to dispute your claim that “Rev. Wright is a racist.” The first amongst them being he does not esteem his race a higher social station than other races.

    As a matter of fact, black liberation theology is not racist at all, and simply places the black struggle in the context of the Hebrew struggle. This was done by white theologians and preachers for centuries, equating the struggles of life with the exile of Israel.

    The American mythology itself is a story told with the imagery and narration of the Old Testament struggle.

    As for the media coverage, anyone on any side of the issue has a different perspective. Obama’s supporters certainly don’t think he was given a free ride.

    What we need is moderation. I think Pastor Smith was getting at this point specifically. We can’t divide ourselves (schism) is we’re going to make headway understanding each other.

    Andrew, I’m worried that your own comments don’t help the discussion because you’re framing your argument through a lens of race. How do you suppose we talk to one another when we focus on race.

  3. The country is still full of people who hate. Some of this shows itself as racism and classism, also part of the Cambridge scenario. There is this dual dynamic that no one is speaking of. Police and the locals in college towns have historically resented universities and the rich kids and professors who, like summer beach resort visitors, look down on the locals as poor, miserable uneducated fools.

    I have experienced the same dynamic, where police have followed myself (a white woman) and my husband (a black man) around, and treat us worse, because we are educated (I have a J.D.) and he has 2 masters degrees. They can’t believe that a black man could be an elementary school teacher, either. Police are very paternalistic to me, trying to rescue me from this boogie monster who they believe must be kidnapping me, or forcing me to run drugs for him. If I was a waitress, and he was the short order cook, they would understand better.

    Then, there is the racism that I also experience from black women, who believe that I have stolen the last good black man. I am the enemy to them, as well.

    The Cambridge debacle reminds us that there is rampant hate in this country. Until this is handled by God’s people, we will continue to have racism, sexism, classism, ageism, etc.

  4. Do you think the next step forward in racial/cultural reconciliation is going to be driven effectively by a legal or political process? I’m doubtful. Positive changes in the political process are more likely to be the result of continued changes in hearts and minds, not the other way around.

    You can’t legislate what people think or feel. The Church could be (should be?) a place where what folks think and feel can be aired out and maybe, just maybe, changed and moved forward. But — in my experience and observations — the Church in America has pimped itself out way too much to various ideologies and personalities over the last 40 years or so. And the consequence is that the Church is seen by most Americans as simply another political player by now…not to be trusted, only interested in winning the next election, etc…

    I believe your Faith should inform your politics; your politics should not inform your Faith. The Church’s increasingly aggressive, divisive and sometimes even hateful political activities over the last 40 years or so tells me that politics have taken over the Church’s mission. The Church’s political activities have seriously hindered it’s ability to sway hearts and minds in a Godward direction. The Church has no business swaying hearts and minds in a leftward or rightward direction. My strong belief in separation of Church and State is about protecting the integrity of the CHURCH’s voice and mission more than the State…ie, the Church should “inform” the political process without getting entrenched in it.

    Having said all that…
    I come out of a “secular left” background and probably still lean leftward when pressed specifically for my political stripes (45 year old white man/member of SCC married to an African American woman). Although Jim Wallis’ book was way too long and meandering, I loved the title of it — “God’s Politics: Why the Right gets it wrong and the Left doesn’t get it.”

    And as far as media coverage goes. Well, regardless of who you’re hating on, you can find affirmation for it quickly on cable tv, online or the am radio dial. I don’t see the point of arguing who the media gives a pass to or not. There are equally ridiculous and hateful assessments of folks from all political stripes going on. Although some media outlets lean left or right, the overall media in America is corporate. MSNBC actually needs FOX around to complain about in keeping it’s own ratings up, and vice versa.

    Whether Obama likes it or not, he IS the first “biracial” President of a Nation still struggling with race. The more I’ve thought about the Gates/Crowley situation, the more I’m surprised there haven’t been more “racial” situations Obama has gotten caught up in. Perhaps a cynical viewpoint. But, for as far as we’ve come with race (and we’ve come a long way), we still have a long ways to go.

    Grace and Peace,

  5. I’m glad you’ve spoken up. I like what you have to say. I’m white but I’ve come to realize that my race definitely doesn’t understand all the racial issues in their full capacity…mostly because we usually only stay around other white people.
    And we think that because we’re not racist…the race issues must all be fixed and race should no longer be an issue.
    And finally, we think that because we engage in a lot of culture that stems from other races, like hip hop and etc, and because we watch t.v. and movies where all races are respresented, we think that we “understand” other races. When we truly do not.
    I’ve come to realize that you can meet a people from different races and interact with other races but until you allow yourself to enter their world and be somewhat submerged in their culture, you will never truly know or understand. You can read and watch all about another culture but never truly get it.
    And another thing…the goal with racial conversations, I’m learning, is not to find the “right” way or the “best thing” for everyone…which I think is the way my race, at least, addresses these conversations. But rather, the goal of the conversation is simply to “get to know” and to understand…to know where the other person is coming from. Because I will still think one way and you will still think another way…and that probably won’t change, and that’s all right…because the goal isn’t to agree, it’s to understand, to extend grace and “room to be” to the other. So we can remain different but co-exist in harmony.

    That’s my take on things. Obama is very, very good for our country. Since we’re at time in history where white people don’t see race as an issue anymore, Obama came along and brought a healthy conversation to the table at the right point in our cultural mindset. And that he’s the first African American president is in and of itself a positive. He might not promote every policy I would like him to, being that I’m a conservative moderate, but he is definitely a huge positive force for our country in, at least, this one area! And I thank God for our President for, at least, this! We are very blessed to be alive during this historical, important time! We all needed this important part of our culture to rise to the surface again. I think God willed it. Pro-life is important to God, but this is extremely important to God TOO! More than many of us will ever realize.

  6. I believe that a lot of people were “put off” by Obama’s comments for several reasons. Number one: he didn’t have all the facts and wasn’ t there, yet used a pretty strong word “stupid” to call the white officer. (sounds to me like it was reverse racism). Number two: I personally would rather the President focus on things like international affairs. This was a case that did not have to be blown up like it was. Obama “stirred” a “fire” with his comments. Third: he said this in the middle of a health care press conference. What did this have to do with health care?

    So, I’ll be honest. To me, Obama came across as very arrogant, and yes, as an “angry” black man. He judged a white man because the white man arrested a black man. For him to call that white man “stupid,” sounds like he has bitterness or a “chip on his shoulder.”

    And finally, why hasn’t Obama addressed the black man who was assaulted by Democratic union “thugs” at a health care townhall?? Why didn’t Obama address the young white soldier murdered in a recruiting office? Why does Obama pick and choose who he’s going to speak out about?

    There is a hypocrisy with him. He condemns this white officer as “stupid,” yet says nothing about the black man assaulted by white Democrats at the health care conference. What’s the difference? Well, Gates, for one, was a Harvard prof. This other black man is a “nobody.” In Obama’s eyes at least.

    As well, Obama is not about to condemn Democrats.

    So, personally, I feel there is a lot of arrogance, favoritsm, and hypocrisy with Obama and I think that we all need to be a lot more shrewd and discerning. Just because he is black, just because he is charismatic, just because he is “cool”…. doesn’t mean we should just think that he’s got no ulterior motives or that he is some sort of perfect man.

    That’s one of the problems. People have put him on such a high pedastal, as if he is perfect and above any sin.

  7. What’s interesting is that I am a white woman whose family is all white, and we never sit around discussing racism. Nor do my white friends. Or my Hispanic friends for that matter, or my black friends, of which I don’t have too many because I live in an area with mostly Hispanics.

    But all the whites I know, including my family… we are friends with all races, and it just simply is not a big deal. I am not hung up on the color of someone’s skin.

    The people who I see and hear make the hugest “stink” about race are blacks themselves. It seems like they are fixated on it. It’s hard to put into words, but I’ve never heard so much divisive blacks vs. whites talk and accusations of racism since Obama was elected.

    And it does seem to me, hearing it all, that there is a lot of anger still, and bitterness, from blacks towards whites. I also find it somewhat frightening to be honest.

    I just read about a young couple in Knox, Tenn. who were BRUTALLY raped, tortured, and murdered by 5 blacks, and yet, the media barely reported it. And it does scare me that there are a lot of blacks who do hate whites and who commit crimes against them out of hate.

    Efrem is viewing things from his perspective of being a Chrsitian, moral black man, but there are a lot of blacks who HATE whites and without hesitation, will or would commit violent acts against them. Like for me, being a young white girl, it’d be pretty stupid to go into one of L.A’s dangerous black inner city neighborhoods at night. Why? Well, do I really need to explain?

    I know that there is a lot of defense of blacks, and I know they have a history of mistreatment from whites, but the fact is, that there are also whites who do have something to fear from those blacks that hate them based on the color of their skin. It works both ways, and not every black person is just some innocent, mistreated, nice, moral person. Which would explain why the majority of prisoners in the U.S. are black men.

  8. Pastor,

    I am a White Lutheran whose father was a scholar, Lutheran minister and missionary, leader and professor at Black colleges in the 1950’s, African missionary in the 40’s, and who knew and supported Rosa Parks during those difficult times. He was a stoic man, who fought racism through empathy and Christianity, was unpopular often because he did the right thing, but he also chastised the faults of all worldly men.

    I did not vote for Obama. I was disgusted at the Bush administration, so voting Republican was out of the question, but was unsure about the intentions of our first Black President, so i voted Libertarian. I believe Obama is fighting the urge to be elite, and trying to live up to his heritage as an African American, but the lure of power and elitism in the cesspool of Washington is so strong, and so disgusting, that any human, no matter how stoic and strong, can become addicted to it. Our high government is so clueless and so separated from Main Street because of this lust for power and greed. This is so dangerous, i cannot describe the extent to which it is. If Obama can bring humility and fresh values back to Washington, where i have lived for many years, we can save this country. But the roller coaster of power and greed, i’m afraid, might bring us to civil unrest, especially at a time when Blacks most need to be uplifted, not suppressed and oppressed, as most of history has shown. I pray constantly that our country does not come undone, and we sink into the despair of control and proverty that so many countries know by being captive to corrupt government. God Bless.

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